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Quarter of Parents Still Believe in Vaccine Autism Link

By jeannesager |

vaccineIt’s been disproven a hundred ways from Sunday, but a new survey shows at least a quarter of American parents still believe that vaccines cause autism.

Hello, parents? Reality is out there somewhere.

The “study” that kicked off this misguided notion has been fully retracted by the medical journal that ran it. A host of other studies have shown no link between the life-saving vaccines and autism.

And yet according to a survey of one thousand five hundred fifty two parents, performed by researchers at the University of Michigan, one in four parents still thinks there’s credence to the idea. Whether it’s because they’re having a hard time focusing themselves away from Jenny McCarthy’s celebrity to look at science or they just don’t believe new science trumps old faulty pseudo-science, there is at least one silver lining.

The researchers told the AP that nine out of ten parents gets their kid vaccinated anyway. Not perfect, but significantly better odds at ninety percent over seventy-five.

Throwing numbers of children who die because of non-vax policies hasn’t seemed to sway people. Full retractions of the “study” haven’t swayed people. So what will be the turning point?

Image: alvi2047 via flickr

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About jeannesager



Jeanne Sager is a freelance writer and photographer living in upstate New York with her husband and daughter, Jillian. She maintains a blog of her award-winning columns at

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7 thoughts on “Quarter of Parents Still Believe in Vaccine Autism Link

  1. Robyn says:

    It hasn’t been proven that vaccines don’t cause autism. Check out the Hannah Poling case. The court ruled that vaccines worsened an underlying condition that caused her to develop autism. It may be proven that the MMR doesn’t cause autism by itself, but until there are true studies on vaccines and their links (or not) to various maladies, no one can say that vaccines don’t cause autism.

  2. Laure68 says:

    Robyn – no, you are wrong. What happened is that the courts said a fever may have caused her condition, and vaccines may cause a fever. If she got a fever from something else, that could have caused her condition also.

    The vaccine court is set up to have a very low standard of proof in order to quickly make payments. They don’t have to actually prove that the vaccine caused the condition.

    The Hannah Poling case is something the anti-vax crowd throws out, but it does not prove anything.

  3. Laure68 says:

    btw, it is true that in science you can never disprove anything. I often use this example, but I can say I have an invisible purple unicorn in my garage and you could never disprove this. All you could say is that there is no evidence that this creature exists.

  4. alison says:

    Science education in this country is terrible. The vaccine causes autism lie appeals to our need to believe we can control our environments, that bad things don’t just happen, there is a cause and it isn’t the parents fault in any way. That, along with a celebrity who doesn’t have a firm grasp on science herself explaining things to people in a language they understand (i.e. not using any big words or science to back up her argument, playing upon people’s fear that the experts are wrong and their belief that “mommy instinct” is always right) makes it an extremely believable lie.

  5. Lisa says:

    That study took place over a year ago…. before the vaccine/autism link redaction by Lancet.

    People are stupid but if Lancet believes this stupidity, don’t be surprised if America does.

  6. elvira says:

    regardless of the autism business – its the fact that vaccines are possibly compromising our natural immune systems that is making parents like ourselves think twice about just systematically getting our kids done. and i can tell i have been researching and studying the issues for years not just blindly following the majority opinions any direction.

  7. Elsa says:

    From a personal experience I strongly believe that vacines cause a major role for our kids to develop autism. They are defenitelly born predisposed to having Autism and then by giving them all this vaccines it raises the bar even more for them to have it. I believe is not only MMRm. When my oldest got vaccines he will always get areally high fever, but when he received MMR he defenetly started regressing. The few things he was already doing just desapeared little by little. I have two more kids who are now 3 and 2 years and they are not getting the MMR. There are so many things we don’t know that the goverment would not like at all for the people to know and I atrongly believe this is one of them.

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